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Study: Internet Access More Important Than Sex, Alcohol

Study: Internet Access More Important Than Sex, Alcohol

Posted by: Soren Dreier

Americans are more connected than ever — at least to the Internet.

A new survey by The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) attempts to quantify just how much we value access to the World Wide Web and its findings are somewhat surprising.

Asked what they would give up for a year in order to maintain access to the Internet, 77 percent of Americans said they’d forgo chocolate, 73 percent alcohol, 69 percent coffee and 21 percent said they would go a whole year without sex.

BCG also tried to determine in dollar terms the worth of the Internet for most people living in the U.S. As it turns out, U.S. consumers would need to be paid roughly $2500 to live without the Internet for one year.

What do Americans value the most about the Internet? General search, e-mail and access to online banking and investing.

Dominic Field, partner at BCG and author of “The Connected World: The $4.2 Trillion Opportunity,” joined The Daily Ticker to discuss the report, which aims to uncover the impact of the Internet economy on the U.S. and global economies.

As you might imagine, the size and scope of the web and its uses and users are multiplying fast. There are currently 1.6 billion global Internet users today and by 2016 the number is expected to nearly double to 3 billion, or half the world’s population, says Field.

Today the Internet contributes $2.3 trillion to the global economy and is expected to grow to $4.2 trillion in about four years.

The Internet contributed $648 billion to the U.S. economy in 2010, or 4.7% of GDP; more than in any other country. To put that in perspective, the Internet economy is the eighth-largest sector in the U.S. and ahead of the Federal Government. Today, the Internet economy is growing at 6.5% a year in the U.S., one reason BCG believes this sector could eventually help propel the country out of recession.


Must Be 21 To Drink……Coca-Cola

Scientists say sugar is as toxic as alcohol – and there should be a drinking age for soda

Sure, sugar’s bad for you. But should we establish a drinking age for sugary sodas? According to UC San Francisco pediatric endocrinologist Robert Lustig, the answer is emphatically yes. He says that added sweeteners have health effects comparable to alcohol and tobacco, and should be regulated accordingly. In a comment piece for the journal Nature, Lustig and his colleagues argue that the state should selectively block access to sugar, using some pretty stiff rules.

For years, Lustig has advocated against added sugar, specifically sweeteners that include fructose. In the recent opinion piece, Lustig and his colleagues Laura A. Schmidt and Claire D. Brindis point out that fructose and other sugars can cause liver toxicity, among other chronic diseases. They write:

A little is not a problem, but a lot kills – slowly. If international bodies are truly concerned about public health, they must consider limiting fructose – and its main delivery vehicles, the added sugars HFCS and sucrose – which pose dangers to individuals and to society as a whole.

To restrict sugar, the researchers start with ideas drawn from existing alcohol and tobacco restrictions. They suggest establishing taxes on “sweetened fizzy drinks (soda), other sugar-sweetened beverages (for example, juice, sports drinks and chocolate milk) and sugared cereal.” In addition, they advocate that we reduce the availability of sugar, particularly to children. This restriction would make it more difficult for vending machines to sell sweet drinks and sugary snacks in schools and in workplaces, building on already existing regulations that have removed sodas from some schools.

But there are even bigger steps to be taken in limiting the availability of added sugars. Lustig et. al. write:

States could apply zoning ordinances to control the number of fast-food outlets and convenience stores in low-income communities, and especially around schools, while providing incentives for the establishment of grocery stores and farmer’s markets. Another option would be to limit sales during school operation, or to designate an age limit (such as 17) for the purchase of drinks with added sugar, particularly soda. Indeed, parents in South Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, recently took this upon themselves by lining up outside convenience stores and blocking children from entering them after school. Why couldn’t a public-health directive do the same?

Refusing to allow fast food restaurants in certain areas? Banning children from convenience stores? I just can’t see anyone accepting changes this radical. Do the researchers really think that people will sit back and let the government take away pastries, candy, and soda? Over our pudgy dead bodies. Surprisingly, the researchers don’t see sugar cravings as their biggest obstacle.

They write:

Regulating sugar will not be easy – particularly in the ‘emerging markets’ of developing countries where soft drinks are often cheaper than potable water or milk. We recognize that societal intervention to reduce the supply and demand for sugar faces an uphill political battle against a powerful sugar lobby, and will require active engagement from all stakeholders.

So the scientists think the biggest problem with regulating sugar is the sugar lobby*. But even without the lobbyists, would people ever cede their right to eat sweets?

Though sugar undoubtedly causes disease, I have a hard time accepting that we’ll see the establishment of sugar regulations. And it’s not just because the populace would rise up in protest.

One impetus for tobacco and alcohol regulations is protecting others. Tobacco can cause cancer in the smoker and those who are exposed to second-hand smoke. Alcohol is not only an addictive substance that can poison the body in large enough quantities, but also impairs judgment to the point where a drinker might, say, get into a car and plow into another vehicle or a pedestrian. The government doesn’t regulate these substances just to protect the smokers and drinkers, it does so to protect others from the smokers and drinkers. Unless we discover that sugar hurts the people who watch us eat it, strict restrictions may be a long time coming.

Via Nature

*Not to be confused with a candy-filled receiving room, the sugar lobby is actually very powerful. Even if it’s hard to take seriously when you picture the lobbyists working out of gingerbread offices.


Vile Comments Lead to Bar Fight Between Heckler and Bristol Palin

Your Mother’s a Whore!’: Vile Comments Lead to Bar Dispute Between Heckler and Bristol Palin

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What do you get when you mix a bar in West Hollywood, a mechanical bull, bitter hecklers and Bristol Palin? A bar fight, naturally. Business Insider has more:

Palin — with paparazzi and film crew in tow — was minding her own business, riding the mechanical bull at the Saddle Ranch bar on the Sunset Strip when some guys at the bar started yelling some fairly predictable slurs at the Dancing With Stars star.

Palin unexpectedly found herself in the middle of a heated argument after a heckler yelled “Did you ride Levi like that?“ and ”Your mother’s a whore!” He also goes on to call her mother, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, “the devil.”

In the clip, you’ll see that rather than avoiding the situation, Palin walks over to her heckler and asks that he explain what his issues are with her mother. In a dialogue that Business Insider says “no one comes away…looking very good” in, both parties sound off.

When Palin approaches him, the man says, again, “Your mother’s the f**king devil.” While she does respond to him continuously, she refers to him as “sir,” which is an oddly kind title considering the words he’s throwing her way.

While some might consider her question regarding the man’s homosexuality as offensive, it doesn‘t come off as though she’s trying to insult him (despite his continued and vitriolic attacks on Palin and her family). Still, not asking the question would have probably been a smarter move. Watch it unfold, below: